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Thomas Tuchel ‘surprised’ at Romelu Lukaku future comments as Chelsea boss deems speculation ‘unhelpful’

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  • Chelsea
    Chelsea
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Thomas Tuchel
    German association football manager and former player
  • Romelu Lukaku
    Romelu Lukaku
    Belgian association football player

Thomas Tuchel will hold talks with Romelu Lukaku after the striker revealed he is unhappy at Chelsea.

Tuchel described the £97.5million summer signing’s comments as “unhelpful” ahead of Sunday’s crunch clash with Liverpool.

But he stopped short of publicly berating Lukaku and insisted the Belgium international has given no indication of a desire to leave Stamford Bridge, despite claims in Italy that he could return to Inter Milan as early as next month.

Lukaku dropped a bombshell on Thursday when, in an interview with Sky Sport Italia, he said: ‘Physically, I am fine. But I’m not happy with the situation at Chelsea. Tuchel has chosen to play with another system.

“I won’t give up, I’ll be professional. I am not happy with the situation, but I am professional - and I can’t give up now.”

It comes at a time when Chelsea’s title challenge has come off the rails and Tuchel is facing his most testing spell in the job.

In response, the German said: “We don’t like it, of course, because it brings noise that we don’t need and is not helpful.

“But on the other side, we don’t want to make more out of it than it actually is.

“You know very well how it is, it’s very easy to take lines out of context, to shorten lines to make headlines, then realise later it’s not so bad or what he meant. But let’s be honest, we don’t like it, because it’s noise we don’t need, we need a calm environment and focus. And it does not help.”

Tuchel added: “He is an experienced player and he should know what kind of value it has when he speaks out with messages like this.

“I don’t see him as unhappy. I feel the exact opposite. If you ask me yesterday morning, I would say I feel the exact opposite. That’s why I would say it’s a surprise, but I am the wrong person to ask.”

Lukaku has endured a difficult time since signing in a club record deal at the start of the season.

He suffered an ankle injury that kept him out for nearly two months and then contracted Covid just before Christmas. But he has scored two goals in his last two games to suggest he is returning to form and fitness.

That is why his comments, in an interview recorded three weeks ago, have come as such a surprise to everyone at Chelsea.

While Tuchel is adamant that Lukaku is content at the club, he confirmed he would talk to the 28-year-old. He said: “We will do it behind closed doors. We will speak openly like I think the relationship is and always has been.

“Maybe we here can take the time to try to understand what’s going on. Because it does not reflect his daily work, it does not reflect his daily attitude, it does not reflect the daily behaviour which Romelu shows here at Cobham.”

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